questionsshould i wait or get an amazon credit card now?


Who is your current card? Is it one of either Visa or Mastercard? I'd strongly suggest insisting that they lower your rate first. That rate strongly suggests punishment for things like late payments, and perhaps you long ago improved your behavior. Of course, the very best thing is to be able to not care what your interest rate is because you pay it off at the end of the month, every time, but I haven't yet lost touch with reality.

Even if you do get a new card, don't close the old one. Buy something now and then and pay it off (perhaps once or twice a year). Longevity on an account is very important.

Amazon's card is just Chase Visa, I believe. {There's only a couple of vendors for all the vanity cards out there, and Chase has the largest segment of that market, with BofA following close behind.}

I'll wait until you've answered about the current card.


Apply now. I got one a few years ago but haven't really used it until lately. I have missed out on so many reward points that I am ashamed. Well, not really ashamed but I do feel dumb.

EDIT: What @shrdlu said above while I was typing is of the utmost importance. I was speaking from the stance of always paying my balance every month instead of another option.


Thanks for posting this, I've been thinking about getting an amazon credit card as well since I finally got a solid job.

Also, I buy a ton of (profanity) from amazon.


@shrdlu: It is a Visa, I have called and told them that the rate is ridiculous (never missed a payment or paid late and always paid in full each month). They waived the annual fee indefinitely that they just added a couple years ago. But they insist the 29.9% rate is the lowest they are currently offering, they don't even budge when I threaten to cancel my card and close my account.


Heres some more background info. I got the card when I was 16 during a student promo. Initially the card had a 250 dollar limit and was 0% interest if you had less than a 250 balance. Eventually the credit limit was raised but the same 0% rule applied. Then the 0% rule disappeared and the 6% rate became 8%, then 14%, then ultimately jumped to 29.9% (meanwhile my credit score had improved). Then a $55 annual fee was applied which caused me to call and get the fee waived for one year. This year I called again and said I was tired of calling every year and that I would cancel my card unless the fee was waived indefinitely and I received something in writing stating this. At first they said this would be impossible but eventually caved. They will not budge on the interest and I should note a friend of mine has the same card and she has experienced the same treatment. If it weren't for the credit longevity mentioned I would cancel the card as it offers no rewards whatsoever.


@mortar235: Ugh. I loathe the predatory folks out there in that industry. Your response to the enormous temptation that credit cards pose to students is commendable. Any company that gives a credit card to a minor needs some good old fashioned tar and feathering, or maybe a few hours in the stocks.

Enough of that. Do as I said, though. Do not close the card. Ignore the rate, because you're going to pay it off, and never put yourself in a position where they can earn one single penny of interest from you.

Sure, get an Amazon card, if that's what your heart's desire is, but use it lightly, if at all. Remember that card companies make some of their money from transaction fees at merchants, but that most of their income if from interest (and I'm sorry to say, rapacious and evil late fees and other similar items).

Care to say who the issuer is for your current card? I like to keep a list of the bad guys. Chase isn't my favorite, but they're okay.


@mortar235: I also want to point out that if you are not currently employed, you may not qualify for a credit card. The rules have changed greatly on who can or cannot have a card. You said you were a student, and that you start full-time work in August. I hope that means that you are currently working at least part time now.

Perhaps @magic cave will drop by with her own estimable advice. She may have different insight than I.

Good luck in either case. I'm gone for the evening.


OMG 29.9%?!? and then they're being generous by waiving the annual fee?!? you're going to give me a danged heart attack. balance transfer everything away from that hellish card, please! do you belong to any credit unions?
@magic cave please help this poor soul


If you still have a credit score of around 750, you should qualify for a LOT lower rate these days. (At my credit union, you'd pretty much be a shoo-in for around 9% or better.)

Check out a local credit union for a better rate.

Don't close the card you already have, since as @shrdlu said, longevity is a big factor in credit scores, but use it only a few times a year. (I buy a tank of gas every few months with each of my older cards) to keep it active.)


@magic cave: @shrdlu I currently work as a grad assistant for a University and work weekends at a nursery. The issuer of the credit card is 1st Financial Bank. I'm not really worried about the interest rate as I always pay my card off in full each month and don't spend more than my discretionary income allows. My credit union has a no rewards card for 8.5% or a 1% rewards card for 9.5%. But since I plan on paying the card off each month I just thought the Amazon card offered better rewards.


No question in my mind. Fire their ass. Apply for the Amazon Visa card, and the minute you have it in and and activated cancel the old card. With a credit limit that low and APR that high it isn't helping your credit score much but could be a liability.

And the Amazon rewards card is da bomb.


I like the amazon card, I am a student but working and it overall works fairly well. You do rack up quite a bit of points without really spending all that much and the interest rate doesn't matter if you pay it off every month. Plus you can use the points not just on amazon but the regular visa rewards things, but I would stick to using the points on amazon for purchases since it seems to get more per points.


@mortar235: If you are paying it off every month, then you might as well get the Amazon card. Chase treats the branded cards decently, and since you seem to be very responsible, you might as well get the one that gives you rewards. The interest rate is higher on these because of the pass through (i.e. Amazon and Chase are sharing that profit, with Chase, of course, taking the lion's share). Still, the other interest rate is outrageous.

Do not ever close that other card. Use it at least twice a year, and monitor it monthly (as you should with every credit card and bank account). The cost to maintain for them will be your revenge.

While I'm paying attention, for anyone looking at various vanity cards, rather than getting myself into trouble by naming the bad guys, I'll simply state that you should read the fine print, and (in this specific order) you may trust Chase, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citigroup as issuers of these fancy things. Omissions deliberate.

Need MOAR coffee.


@mortar235: I also got my first card when I was 16 and the rate is a heck of a lot lower than your rate. Last time I checked, the rate on that card is about 12% (I think it was 16% when I got it with a $500 limit and no job, in fact I was still in high school).

But as others mentioned, as long as you pay it off, interest rates do not matter.


Why do you have this credit card AT ALL? It sounds like they are brutal to deal with. The 5-6 credit cards I have had in my lifetime have never been this bad.

Also, wtf with your credit score?! Mine is only 770 and I have paid of a car loan, paying (small) student loans (ok, ONE payment 30 days late in 6 years because I didn't know about it), NEVER had a late credit card payment, utility usually well under 10%, etc etc. Yet I can't get above where I am now.


It sounds like there are better rewards cards out there that are comparable or better when shopping at Amazon?

Checkout for more info. But even a quick search brings results on your favorite internet search engine.


Sorry all, forgot to mention that my current card has a $7000 limit so I will probably keep it going for the 'available credit' part of my credit score.


@atomicorange: I was recently told of another credit card website similar to

Does anyone know if it? I thought it was but can't remember.


@wootbretz: I'm not sure. I pay my credit card bill, utility bills, cable & internet, and rent of course. I have the card because I have had it since high school (8 years) and the credit limit is high (but never really used). The issuer started out with ridiculously low rates and then apparently realized it wasn't making money so it started upping them and charging fees. The fees have been negotiated away but I am less concerned with the interest since I rarely use the card.


I also have a card through 1st Financial Bank, got it over 4 years ago, and it's been nothing but a pain in my side. At the time I was a college student at a pricey school, dealing with parents who had lost a sizable amount of income, making the $250 no interest deal sound really, really good. Of course that disappeared in 6 months and suddenly I was getting crazy annual fees and the 29% rate. The customer service people I dealt with were horrible in explaining things, particularly why I was getting another increased annual fee less than 3 months after I had one applied to my account. They're a shady company that I really wish I had never even acknowledged those year ago.


@mortar235 and @jose07: This bank appears to specifically victimize students, and the horror stories I've seen doing only brief research are sad. Some are similar to yours; many are worse. Just to make sure, we are speaking of:

1st Financial Bank
363 W Anchor Dr
North Sioux City, SD 57049
(605) 242-6500

The reviews here fill me with pity.

I found one or two lukewarm reviews (out of perhaps 200 or so), and a raft of reviews that make me want to drive to North Dakota and get some answers. I am adding this information here because Google is the swiftest method I know of to spread the word. To make sure, here's some additional phrases meant just for search engines.

student visa card
1st financial bank card review
first financial bank card review

{Amazingly, some review sites will not permit a number as part of the name, and convert it.}